Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A perfect summer day and cruising down the Danube (Part 2)

Well, hello there! And how are my blogging friends on this fine August morning? The month is flying by (as they all do at my age!) and September is right around the corner. I don't know about you, but I'm not ready for summer to end. It feels like we got just a bit cheated this year with our rainy, cool June and overly hot July, doesn't it? I'm hoping that September will offer us many more warm sunny days to help make up for those two months!

And to help prolong your summer just a bit, I have a very sweet finish to share with you today. I actually have very few summer pieces to put out so I'm trying to remedy that and, as soon as I saw this design, I knew I had to stitch it... I truly loved each stitch!

What do you get when you combine...

A blue-doored beach hut with a cute seagull perched nearby,

with a darling girl in a red and white polka-dot dress skipping along the sand,

with a little pup playing with his ball while a sandcastle is being constructed with a seashell door,

and a frisbie-throwing lad with a red and white lighthouse standing guard?

Mix in a banner in French that says "The sun,

the sand, the sea" and some breezy sailing boats on a blue, blue sea and you have a perfect summer beach scene!

"Beach Landscape" finish on 40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha Newcastle linen

What do you think? I mean what could possibly say summer more than a carefree day at the beach? This design is featured in The World of Cross Stitching magazine (July 2019 issue #282) and is the product of the imagination of designer Jenny Van De Wiele. Jenny also designed the beautiful "Berries In a Basket" piece that I stitched earlier this year. She is a very talented New Zealand designer who now lives in the United States and designs under the name "Homestitchness" which is a play on words combining her love of stitching and its ability to ease her homesickness for her beautiful New Zealand. You can find more of her lovely designs by clicking here or on her Etsy shop right here.

Why do you choose to stitch a certain design? Is it the colors, the subject, the designer? Or is it because it evokes memories of a special place, time, or experience? With "Beach Landscape," it is the latter reason for me... For almost 35 years, my in-laws rented a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for all of their children and grandchildren to gather for one week each summer. When we first went in 1984, my oldest son was just two years old... And this year, 2019, is the first time in 35 years that none of the family has gone down. Through the years, the houses we rented went from simple (almost rustic) abodes on nearly deserted beaches to upscale mansions big enough to hold 25+ people. And, oh, how my sons loved the weeks spent bonding with their cousins and creating those lifelong memories. The nine cousins, now ranging in age from mid-40s to early 30s, spent hours boogie-boarding, crab hunting, climbing up the sand dunes, building sand-castles, flying kites, throwing frisbies, star gazing, and eating lots of favorite foods (including the ever popular hush puppies).

Here are some old photos of those happy Outer Banks beach days circa 1995...

My sons and their cousins "digging to China!"

Oldest son at age 13 riding his boogie-board into shore after another successful ride.

My middle son could spend hours and hours just digging in the sand each week.

My youngest son was always discovering new "treasures"--here he holds a feather from a seabird.

And here are 8 of the 9 cousins, along with my husband,  just watching for the next great wave to come in. Look at my niece in the coral colored bathing suit--doesn't she remind you of the little girl in red skipping across the sand in my stitching?

Although I am not a big beach person (the mountains are my "happy place"), the smiles on my sons' faces when they reunited with their cousins each year were priceless! I hope that, if my husband and I are ever blessed with grandchildren, we can continue this tradition of gathering the entire family together for one solid week of bonding and memory-making each year.

I was given the most generous gift this week from dear Sandy at "I Majored In Home Economics" blog. Just look!! A sweet "Dick and Jane" card along with eight beautiful Erica Michaels charts in The Caroling Berries collection. I love Christmas carol themed stitching for an obvious reason--my name and the fact that my parents named me "Carol" because I was due at Christmas time (unfortunately for my poor mother--I arrived three weeks late!). So these are very special and I look forward to stitching them. Thank you so very much for your generous gift, Sandy--I truly love them! And I will be sure to keep the kindness going by passing them along when I am done stitching them.

Beautiful Christmas Carol charts from Sandy

Well, that's it for the stitching portion of this post--on to the next installment of my Danube River cruise. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the first portion on Prague and Terezín. Today, we will visit two new cities and actually embark on the river portion of the trip!

Regensburg, Germany

Regensburg is located in the south-east corner of Germany and it's medieval city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is so well-preserved because there were no industrial complexes or factories located in the medieval center so it wasn't the target of Allied bombings in WWII. I was excited to visit this city of nearly 150,000 inhabitants because my mom had told me how much she enjoyed it back in the late '60s when she and my dad visited. It didn't disappoint...

My first view of the medieval center of Regensburg as we crossed The Stone Bridge. Wouldn't it be lovely to sit under those shady trees and simply watch the world go by?

Old town Regensburg  and The Danube River as seen from the other side of the bridge

The Stone Bridge, built in the 12th century, connects old town Regensburg with Stadtamhof

The medieval buildings were varied and 

The pink building is a fine example of what is known as a "medieval patrician tower." The upper class built very tall buildings to showcase their wealth, but often only lived in the first few floors leaving the upper floors empty!

Porta Praetoria was built by Roman Emperor Marcus Auerelius in the 2nd century! It is believed to be Germany's most ancient stone building.

Of course, I had to pose in front of the Regensburg public library!

The mural on the Goliath Building, built in 1260, depicts the story of David and Goliath.

The imposing St. Peter's Cathedral is an important landmark in Regensburg.

The Gothic spires can be seen from almost anywhere in the medieval part of the city.

A few of the pretty buildings and doorways of Regensburg

Many of the windows had beautiful flowers cascading from window boxes

I thought this sculpture of a stag perched above a doorway was particularly interesting!

This is one of my favorite photos of our trip. Our guide said this is an example of an old salt barge that is now used to carry tourists on sightseeing cruises.

Cheers! Here we are in the Regensburg Sausage Kitchen which just may be the oldest continually operating restaurant in the world! It serves 6000 sausages a day and has been in operation since 1146 AD. And no, I am not a beer drinker--hence, the bottle of Coke!

After a busy and very hot day in Regensburg, we are finally bused to our ship: The Avalon Passion. Here are some of our shipmates embarking. (I will write a separate blog post on the ship and my opinions and thoughts on the river cruise in a later post).

After a quick change of clothes, we went to the ship's dining room, met up with a couple we got to know in Prague, and enjoyed our first of many scrumptious dinners which ended with this delightful Apfelstrudel for dessert!

As we were settling in for our first onboard dinner, we began cruising to a new location... Any guesses as to where we stopped next?

I smiled with delight when I opened the curtains of my cabin the following morning to find this gorgeous sight. I honestly would have been very happy to sit there all day with my stitching while admiring this pretty scene! We had arrived at our next destination--the charming baroque town of:

Passau, Germany

Passau, (also known as Dreiflüssestadt ("City of Three Rivers") is situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. It is a smaller town of only 50,000 residents,  of whom 12,000 are students at the University of Passau. The original "Old City" portion was destroyed by fires several times in the 16th and 17th centuries and was rebuilt in the style that was in fashion then--Baroque. Pastels abound and it almost appears as if some of the architectural features are icing on a wedding cake. Come on--let's take a stroll through this delightful town...

Pale pastels highlight the market square in Passau

I particularly enjoyed my time in Passau because we arrived early in the morning before the crowds converged.

You need sturdy shoes to walk on these cobble-stoned streets

The spire of St. Stephen's Cathedral rises above the town

St. Stephen's Cathedral, built in the 17th century,  is a magnificent example of baroque architecture. During December a large Christmas market is held in the square right outside the church. I imagine it's quite a sight!

Shall we go inside the cathedral and explore?

Certainly, the prettiest cathedral I've ever seen!

Just look at the magnificent murals and carvings!

It truly was jaw-droppingly beautiful!

St. Stephen's has the largest organ in Europe and the second largest in the world.

I found these exterior sculptures on the outside of the cathedral to be particularly fascinating. Can anyone from Europe tell me what they represent?

I'm guessing that these may be memorial plaques of some kind?

An angel  sculpture on the outside wall of St. Stephen's commemorates the deaths of local WWI soldiers.

The Inn River

I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll along the banks of the Inn River even though the skies were grey and threatening rain.

A view of Innstadt with the Innstadt Brewery in the lower left and the Mariahilf Monastery at the top of the hill.

A final view of the Inn River under threatening skies

There were such lovely, intricately carved doors in Passau

... and  more pretty flower-filled window boxes.

The New Bishop's Palace, built in the 18th century, was stunning both inside and out.

It featured an elaborate rococo stairway

Doesn't this architectural detail resemble a perfect pink and white wedding cake?

Some gorgeous frescoes in the New Bishop's Palace

And this beauty is the library where many of Passau's religious history is on display. Do you think they're interested in hiring a retired librarian?!

After a delightful morning spent exploring the town of Passau, our ship set sail after lunch.

The sun had broken through the clouds and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon cruise to our next destination. I think my favorite moments of our trip were simply sitting in our cabin with the doors wide open watching the world go by as we cruised down the not-so-blue Danube!

Have you enjoyed the second leg of my Danube Cruise today? I loved both Regensburg and Passau, but think I preferred Passau as it was much less crowded and the colors were just so pastel and pretty! Where will I be taking you next time? Stay tuned...

Thank you all so much for visiting me today--and a special thanks to those of you who take the time to leave a comment. I appreciate each and every one as I know your lives are just as busy (or probably busier!) than mine... I want to welcome my new followers and invite any of you who don't follow me already on Instagram to join in on the fun; just click here to see my Instagram photos. I won't be back until sometime in September so I hope you enjoy the last little bit of August! Bye for now...


Margaret said...

Love your stitched finish! Your family holidays sound similar to ours with my sister and her family, albeit ours is a whole lot smaller! lol! My niece was 2 the first time we stayed in Maine! And your trip. How lovely! I love seeing Europe -- it's so different from the US. Such gorgeous pictures of the places you saw! So was the cruise you took on that rive cruise line that's always advertised on TV these days? It sounds so nice! My DH always says it would be fun to go someday. I always say when we have the money. lol! Anyway, thanks for sharing with us. It's nice to have it all documented on your blog! Happy hump day!

Margaret said...

PS: Can't believe I was the first to post for a change! lol!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

What a lovely trip. I know it will leave sweet memories in your heart. I loved the beach pictures. We spent many summers at my sis in law's beach home and like you said, seeing the joy of the cousins and their fun times together was a blessing. I love that little beach scene you cute. And that Sandy...isnt she a sweetheart? I just finished my first Erica Michael's strawberry yesterday. I completed Adeste Fideles. I think I have two or three more to stitch and complete. Cant wait to see how you stitch and finish yours Carol!

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, your beach piece evokes good memories for you. I loved going to the beach when we spent summers with my grandparents in Connecticut. I enjoyed seeing your beach family pictures. What beautiful photos you shared of your time spent in Regensburge and Passau. I love the picture of you in front of the library. What a lovely gift to receive from Sandy.

Sandra said...

I'll start my comment again, there was a connection glitch my end last time!
I loved your stitching reminding you of lovely summer memories with the enlarged family. I especially loved the the beach hut as my grandparents had one as they lived by the sea.

So many lovely photos of your Danube River cruise in Germany. Such beautiful ornate architecture and art work and what a wonderful organ in St. Stephen's Cathedral. What an unforgettable trip!

Stasi said...

Thanks for the lovely recap of the next phase of your trip---such beautiful towns, architecture, etc.. I'm sure wonderful memories were made to rival those of your Beach days! Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Edgar said...

What a super post!! I really enjoyed the beach photos as they brought back really great memories for me, my grandparents kept a summer house at the beach at Nags Head for years until they retired to Flordia. We spent so many happy summers there over the years!! Love the German Trip snaps!! Thanks!

Sandy said...

I am enjoying the vacation pictures. I am taking notes for that one day when my hubby retires. The beach scene truly is like your visits with family. IT turned out very nice.

Cathy H. said...

Summer memories always seem the best! Better than Christmas to me! I spent a week each summer with cousins at my aunt and uncle's house. Such good times we had! Love your beautiful travel pictures! All the pretty pastel colors in the buildings makes the area feel so peaceful. The Cathedral is simply stunning!

diamondc said...

Carol: I love the beach design so cute and sweet.
The fun beach photos bring back memories of when we went to the city beach where I grew up.
Thank-you for sharing the beautiful vacation photos, I love the Fresco on the ceiling in the Cathedral.
You both look so happy, I had to giggle when I saw you had a coke and your husband had a beer.
You both are so cute.
Have a great week.


Sherri said...

Such a cute beach stitch! I love summer and the beach and not ready to change seasons just yet. Love the pictures of your trip...just beautiful.

Donna said...

I just love the beach scene you stitched. What a happy picture! I also enjoyed the pictures of your family on your annual family vacation. What great memories for all of you. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your trip down the Danube River. It looks like a wonderful vacation. Have a great end to summer. I also hate to see summer end.

marly said...

How did I miss part one? The buildings and that cathedral are just so mind boggling compared to today's. Hard to imagine the work involved and the skill required for such intricate details and elaborate designs. I seriously doubt I will ever get to the other part of our world so I truly appreciate how you share with us!

Barb said...

It is wonderful that your family has so many happy memories of the days at the beach. That cross stitched piece is the perfect way to think about summer. I loved seeing your pictures of Germany. They reminded me of the trip we took when our son was stationed there. We were in the Bavarian part of Germany. I must have missed your last post so I will go back and see the beginning of your trip!

MartinaM said...

It is really a great summer theme, you can tell that everyone has fun on the beach.
Such family reunions are always something special, some you see more often, some less, but once a year you get together and spend a great time. That has something special. And if you can keep such traditions in your own family, that's invaluable.
In Passau we were already, but was restored at the cathedral, so that we could not see him from the inside, I enjoy that now with your pictures.
Thank you,
Have a nice Time, Hugs Martina

Gabi said...

Hi Carol, nice pictures of former days. Yes it is special to have such lovely memories.
Your pics of Regensburg and Passau are wonderful.I still remember the hours when we were there. Very long ago. These both cities have tradition. The churches are awesome.
Stitching is as always wonderful.

butterfly said...

What a lovely family posted .
Love all the wonderful holiday photos .
Looks like you had a great trip.

Your sewing is just beautiful has always ,I have this chart must stitch it next year. I like this designer too.

Manuela said...

Hallo Carol,
eine wunderschöne Stickerei. So viele kleine Details sind dort vereint. Man kann immer wieder etwas Neues entdecken. Schöne Erinnerungen teilst du mit dieser Stickerei.
Auch der zweite Teil deiner Kreuzfahrt hat mir gefallen. In Regensburg war ich vor einigen Jahren selber. Der Dom ist riesig und emposant. Auch von Innen sehr schön.
Gefreut habe ich mich über die Vielzahl der Bilder von Passau. Dort möchte ich seit vielen Jahren einmal hin. Mit deinen Fotos hast du mir richtig Lust gemacht.
Nun bin ich sehr gespannt, von welcher Stadt du uns als nächstes berichten wirst.
Ganz liebe Grüße und eine Umarmung, deine Manuela

Christel said...

Un très bel ouvrage qui nous permet de prolonger nos vacances... Il y a le ciel, le soleil et la mer... C'est le refrain d'une chanson française.. J'ai des souvenirs aussi avec mes cousins et cousines au bord de la mer dans la maison de mes grands-parents....
Tu as reçu de beaux modèles à broder, cette série est magnifique.
Merci pour la suite de cette croisière sur le Danube. Je ne connais pas du tout cette partie de l'Europe mais ton reportage permet d'admirer, permet de donner une idée de tout ce qu'il y a voir.
Amitiés de France,

Marilyn said...

What beautiful pics of Germany!
Love those rows of colored buildings.
And that Cathedral!! Breathtaking!
Mmmmm, that Strudel looks delicious.
Thanks for sharing all of the pics with us.

Helen said...

Hi Carol,
Love your blog and newsletters. Love your pictures. We just returned a few weeks ago from cruising the Danube and visited Passau and Regensberg, and I have some of the same photos! Don't you love on the David and Goliath photo how Goliath is resting his arm on the window? (recent update I think) I also took lots of door photos- they were amazing. Glad you didn't have the heat wave we did in mid-July, it was lovely but HOT!
I try to always study your finishing photos before attempting mine- thanks for the inspiration! Where do you find your small trims?

homestitchness said...

What a lovely post, Carol. Thank you for all your kind words - I'm so happy to have helped you add two new summer designs to your growing collection! :) It's really nice to see more photos of your finished cross stitch along with the family photos you have shared from your North Carolina vacations... your eldest son and I must be right around the same age! :) My family spent many happy times at the beach with cousins, too, throughout my childhood. Such precious memories. I enjoyed seeing more of your trip photos, too - especially love all the pastel coloured buildings and the pretty window boxes overflowing with flowers. Such a wonderful adventure you had!
Jenny x

Pat said...

THANK YOU! Thank you for the peek into your life. What a wonderful trip you had. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and vacationing vicariously through your photos.

Barb said...

Hi Carol - oh what a great post you have shared with all of us! I truly love reading about this portion of your travels and loved all the pictures. I really can’t get over those amazing photos - what a wonderful trip you have had! Thanks you so much for sharing this with us!

Thanks, too, for sharing the wonderful beach photos of your holidays in the Outer Banks. Your sons are really wonderful and such cute boys! I can only think of the many happy memories you must have of those special times.

Love you summer stitching, too. It’s always a very special and happy day when we find a new post from you.

Thank you so much! Hope all is well with you and your family!


Faith... said...

Beautiful stitching. I love that piece. Your boys were definitely cuties when they were growing up.

Thanks for sharing your travels with us. St. Peter looks like a beautiful landmark!

Jutta said...

My dear June,
a great finish, I like the summer motif very much, so many little details, beautiful and great embroidery.
Thanks for the nice photos of your sons, they all wer so pretty ;-)Family reunions are always great!
And your photos from the Danube cruise impress me very much, thank you for the really good photos.
Have a nice weekend, Jutta

Jennifer said...

I love your pictures from the Outer Banks and from Germany - two of my favorite destinations! I can’t wait to hear what you thought of the river cruise....I have thought about what a great way it would be to see more of Europe. Hope you’re having a nice weekend - I am loving the cooler, drier August we are having in Indiana!

Jackie's Stitches said...

It looks like an amazing trip and loads of fun! It's been forever since I've seen Coke in a bottle....!

Robin Wylde said...

I'm a bit late to this post, but wow! First of all, what an amazing finish: not only is it super adorable and detailed, it's full of lovely memories. Thank you for sharing with us, those beach days must have been incredible, and so nice to look back on now. And as for your trip, it looks like you had a great time! I haven't travelled to Germany too much myself, but what I've seen has been beautiful, so it was nice to armchair travel with you and confirm that yes, Germany is indeed a beautiful place! Hope you're having a great week x

Leonore Winterer said...

Your summer stitching is lovely! What a great way to spend vacations, with everyone getting together on the beach. I don't have a very big family, and while I kind of like the quiet, sometimes I still think I'm missing it.
Usually, a stitch a design just because it 'calls' to me. Certainly I am more drawn to some specific designers, but I wouldn't stitch something just because it's by a designer I like. I think most of the time it's pretty colour combinations that make me go 'Oh, I need to stitch that!' - of course I could just change the colours in other designs, but it usually just doesn't cross my mind until I see someone else do it first!
Regensburg and Passau are beautiful cities. I know people in both, but have visited neither - what a shame! Freiburg, where I live, looks quite similar to Regenburg though.
I am not quite sure about the 'exterior sculptures', but they might be grave markers. Important people used to be buried in churches and cathedrals, and if the building is rebuilt or renovated, sometimes the markers are 'saved' and displayed like that, at least that's what I've seen done before.

Christine said...

Beautiful stitched beach scene, and I really enjoyed seeing the pictures from your Danube cruise

RJ said...

Carol, I truly loved this post. I just got back from a week at the beach on a island in South Carolina. Seeing your photos put a big smile on my face. Ever since I was a little child all our vacations were spent at the beach and it is my happy place. I never want to leave. The beach stitch is WONDERFUL. I must find that issue and stitch that wonderful piece. It is so happy...truly delightful.

The second part of your post is my dream vacation too. I want to go to Germany so much. Most of my descendants are from Germany and I want to see this lovely country so much. My husband and I have talked about a river cruise for quite a while. I can't wait to show him your photos. Thank you for such a beautiful post. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

Katie said...

Well of course I love your beach piece. Beautiful work. Can't wait to see how you finish it. OBX is one of my favorite places to travel to. Sorry to hear your family stopped going there for reunions. We haven't been back since my mom's stroke. I think we just might have to travel there again soon though. Maybe next year in March or something like that. We just love being there. Even if it was cold outside. Your travel photos are BEAUTIFUL. Thanks so much for sharing them all.

Barbara said...

Your stitching of the beach scene took my breath away! Such delightful figures stirred up a desire to be at the beach all over again. I really like that pattern and will look it up with the information you gave us (thank you!).

The chocolate music staff and notes on your plate of apple strudel was so clever and fun! My goodness, the charm of Europe really is something to see, especially with the flower-filled window boxes and intricate architecture. But like you, I also enjoyed the pastels of Passau.

What a wonderful trip! I've never been to Europe, but have thoroughly enjoyed visiting it vicariously through you!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful piece and what wonderful memories your boys have to tell. I can’t wait to hear about your thoughts on river cruises - pros and cons.

Happy Stitching
Elizabeth B

Meg said...

Lovely beach stitch! For my family, our "beach" was Redfish Lake in central Idaho. We would go up several times during the summer and swim - although it took some nerve to get in the cold, cold water (the lake was fed by snowmelt!). My brother would bottle fish - taking an old apple-cider jug, tying a rope to it and lowering it into the water. The minnows would swim into it and not be able to get out. He would bring them home and put them in his cold-water aquarium.

Good memories!

Your Germany photos are amazing. I especially enjoyed the tour of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Had to click on the photos so I could immerse myself in the details. Gorgeous!

Mary said...

Carol, Thank you for allowing us to come along on your amazing trip. I enjoy seeing all the photos of old buildings and churches the most. I'm looking forward to installment 3!! What an amazing vacation your boys treated you to.

Loved your pretty beach stitch too!! That stitch will certainly remind you of your beach holidays. I can see why you chose it. I like going to the beach but only a few times each year, I much prefer the mountains too. I'm so happy with weather has cooled and Fall is in the air. I hope you get some warmer days but keep them in Pittsburgh!

Sandi said...

Love the cross stitch!

The architecture of the church is AMAZING.

Claire said...

Oh what an awesome post, Carol! Thanks so much for taking me down the river with you and I just love your beach stitching, too. It's such a happy scene! Looking forward to the next leg of the trip. Thanks for sharing!

Sandy said...

Popped over from a mutual friends blog, I always enjoy meeting new bloggers. Your photo's of Germany are fantastic. It's a place on my bucket list, but I've not found many tours of Germany compared to say France, Italy, Spain etc. Your summer memories at the beach are very nice. It's pretty impressive to get that many people coordinated to get to one location at the same time. Had to smile seeing your Dick and Jane card. A few years back I bought a book that had many of the little stories all in one binding. Kept it for a while and then gifted it, sorta as a joke. See Dick Jummp, Run Sally Run. We all remember learning to read that way.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures :), some of the vevs I would like to convert into the patterns...
As a previous comment said those "sculptures" are in fact the plaques from graves. There was a custom to bury the dead VIPs inside the church. The plaques, usually beautifully decorated (with portraits, names, tiltes, coats of arms, etc) were installed into the floors or walls above the graves inside the church. During the renovations usually those from the floors are removed for preservation and You can see "replacements" on the floor. The few that are not removed are usually protected from stepping on them by plastic or cords.